Consumer groups around the world demand transparency on secret copyright treaty

Glyn sez, "The Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement [ed: a secret, non-UN treaty that rich countries are cooking up that will criminalize copyright infringement, sending non-commercial file-sharers to prison; authorize border guards to search your hard-drive and personal electronics for copyright infringements; and require governments to give media giants the power to decide who should and shouldn't have Internet access, without having to prove anything in a court of law] has been making its way in secret for some time, a coalition of consumer groups have now demanded that the text of the directive be made public.
The resolution calls for a halt to the plurilateral negotiation of an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) led by the United States, until the negotiating texts are made available to consumer groups and other conditions are met.

TACD wants future negotiations to be respectful of civil liberties such as the right to privacy and also demands the inclusion of developing countries in ACTA negotiations as the stated intention is to extend and apply the treaty to them. The resolution offers recommendations to ensure IP enforcement policies and practices address issues such as transparency, evidence and process, competitiveness, consumer protection, human rights, access to knowledge, and digital rights.

The resolution reflects discussions TACD had with representatives from the EU and the US government on 9 June, during the TACD 10th annual meeting in Brussels (IPW, Enforcement, 11 June 2009). But the resolution was released for the first time on 18 June and forms part of a larger effort by TACD to push back on the IP rights enforcement issues, according to consumer representatives.

EU, US Consumer Groups Issue Resolution On Enforcement; Demand Role In ACTA (Thanks, Glyn!)


  1. We seriously need to have a federal bill making it illegal for a corporate entity to be considered a person. This kind of thing wouldn’t happen if they couldn’t hide under the Bill of Rights like they’ve been doing for 100+ years.

  2. @Telephoneface:

    Or bring it all the way. They can go to jail or get the death penalty as well. Problem is figuring out what jail is (jailing the CEO? Ceasing all operations for the sentence period?)

  3. This is really scary. How far do they go to protect the unprotectable? Specially when it wants to be free by nature.

  4. So, what’s the status of having Full Disk Encryption (FDE) and dummy OS installs actually useable on a day-to-day basis?

    Where’s the direct action increasing the use of strong encryption and open spectrum?

    We seriously need to have a federal bill making it illegal for a corporate entity to be considered a person.

    That’s not really the issue here. The subject at hand is the government-business partnership, perhaps best modeled according to Public Choice Theory.

    Public Choice theory is often used to explain how political decision-making results in outcomes that conflict with the preferences of the general public. For example, many special interest and pork barrel projects are not the desire of the overall democracy. However, it makes sense for politicians to support these projects. It may make them feel powerful and important. It can also benefit them financially by opening the door to future wealth as lobbyists. The project may be of interest to the politician’s local constituency, increasing district votes or campaign contributions. The politician pays little or no cost to gain these benefits, as he is spending public money. Special-interest lobbyists are also behaving rationally. They can gain government favors worth millions or billions for relatively small investments. They face a risk of losing out to their competitors if they don’t seek these favors. The taxpayer is also behaving rationally. The cost of defeating any one government give-away is very high, while the benefits to the individual taxpayer are very small. Each citizen pays only a few pennies or a few dollars for any given government favor, while the costs of ending that favor would be many times higher. Everyone involved has rational incentives to do exactly what they’re doing, even though the desire of the general constituency is opposite.

  5. Because copyright is the only thing standing between us and the terrorists?

    Sonny Bono was fighting for ‘our’ way of life!

  6. Let ’em have it all!

    Bring on the ‘zines, home videos and animations, et. al. The DIY stuff has always been the best. We’d paid too high a cultural price for the massification of ever damn decent medium, for decades.

    Yes, please, please: kill mass consumerism. Let a hundred thousand voices emerge!

  7. the harder they try to push these oppressive copyright laws, the less I actually care about and respect copyright law.

    And I’m an artist, one of those people that copyright apparently ‘helps’

    hopefully, more and more content creators will begin to make use of the creative commons, and hopefully, content consumers will begin to see the difference and avoid all works that have the ‘all rights reserved’ stamp on it.

  8. How about some counter legislation that makes copyright holders prove they paid/are paying a fair share to the creators or their heirs? Few do. And how about legislation protecting us consumers from possible noxious side effects of exposure to those profitable properties? (Your music video made my hair fall out. Compensate me!)

  9. I think more ubiquitous use of encryption will help stymie their plans, BUT there’s 1 major problem:

    they’ll likely change the laws to criminalize ‘overuse’ of encryption for personal use, or at least set the precedent that someone using it must be trying to hide something (I think they already do this, claiming people are trying to hide something heinous, like child pornography)

    Encryption + zombie computers sending out fake requests for copyrighted material should keep them on their toes for quite a while. If the zombie computers can be made to appear like they belong to prominent politicians, you would extra bonus points. :)

  10. So . . . they think counterfeit music is being smuggled across borders on laptops? Perhaps they could have their ten year old sons and daughters explain the internets to them.

  11. We should emphasize that copyrights and patents are government grants of monopolies, not natural rights of creators. The proponents of these sort of treaties take on the mantel of “free trade;” we should deny them that claim.

    We also need to make people aware that IP law has tremendous human rights consequences. Whether it is providing tools to keep information flowing across borders (particularly relevant given the issues in Iran), or access to life saving drugs in poor nations hardest hit by the AIDs pandemic, we need to make this an issue relevant to everyone.

    I don’t think it is rhetorical excess to say the Pirate Parties can be, if they take on that role, the new abolitionists.

  12. Can anyone confirm the link?

    My ISP (cablevision) is giving me a Domain-Not-Found error.

  13. I agree with Nº7, let them have it, and eat it.

    I threw away my tv a few years ago, now i get my news on the net, and my entertainment on vimeo, youtube, etc…

    And if i feel like watching a movie, theres a ton of theaters with indie movies to pick from.

    I’m all in for criminalizing your backup copies of britney spears.

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